Exhibit History Research and Documentation Practicum
This practicum offers a unique opportunity for a University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign students enrolled in the iSchool (external link) to get first-hand experience researching and documenting past exhibits records within the Spurlock Museum’s registration section for course credit.
Through completion of this practicum, the student will:
- gain practical museum experience working behind the scenes,
- become familiar with how the Spurlock Museum documents their collections, loans, exhibits and Museum history,
- learn how the Spurlock Museum manages and preserves its records,
- gain an understanding of professional standards and best practices in museum registration and records and how the Spurlock, as characteristic of many museums, works to achieve them given limited resources and historical circumstances,
- gain experience using collections-related databases, and
- enhance research skills.
Practicum Position Duties
The student will complete 100 hours of work under the supervision of the Registrar. They will meet with the Registrar on a regular basis and will complete brief weekly summaries of completed work and a final semester review/evaluation. The student’s primary project is to research and document past exhibits. The number of exhibits completed is dependent on the amount of information available and the complexity of the exhibit. Tasks will include:
- researching exhibits using the Spurlock’s physical, digital and database records including its collection of images and recordings as well as university archives and library resources to:
- identify artifacts displayed,
- identify and cross reference associated label copy,
- determine and map out original case layouts and floor plans,
- identify and catalog images,
- identify and catalog publications that reference the exhibit, and
- gather all relevant planning documents and
- documenting exhibits by:
- editing and cross-referencing records in collections and publications related databases,
- adding documentation to physical records as necessary,
- gathering, printing and photocopying relevant documents and images, and
- organizing documentation of artifacts, labels, maps/layouts, images publications, and planning documents for each exhibit.
Required Qualifications and Skills:
- demonstrated interest, knowledge, and/or background in libraries, archives, or museums
- demonstrated knowledge of—or background in—records, images, and/or collections management, care, and/or preservation
- excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
- This practicum is an unpaid volunteer position for class credit. Positions are available for Fall 2017 and Spring 2018. Hours are flexible but must be scheduled Monday–Friday 8:30 am–5:00 pm for a total of 100 hours.